Truck drivers are faced with a growing image crisis. Many people believe that truck drivers are inherently violent and dangerous. This article looks at the many problems that long-haul truckers face, including hours of service issues, sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality, and the need to keep truck drivers fit.
What responsibilities do truck drivers have? Read on to find out.
Hours of service
The Hours of service (HOS) rules for truck drivers are a set of laws regulating the number of hours a driver can drive per day and week. They are intended to keep drivers healthy and safe on the road.
Drivers are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a division of the Department of Transportation. These regulations are primarily for commercial vehicle drivers, but passenger-carrying commercial drivers are also subject to the rules.
A HOS rule regulates the amount of time a driver can be on duty, and requires a minimum period of rest each day. The main purpose of these regulations is to avoid fatigue and reduce the risk of traffic accidents caused by driver fatigue.
There are exceptions to these laws, though. For example, an exemption exists for drivers who drive non-long hauls. Non-long haul drivers are permitted to work one 16-hour shift every duty cycle.
Common hauls for truck drivers
When it comes to trucking, there are many different types of hauls. Some of the more common ones include construction materials, liquids, and retail goods. Each of these hauls is a little different, and will require a different type of truck to handle it.
The most common type of haul for truck drivers is the food and beverage haul. They will often have to transport perishable goods such as meat and dairy products. These items require temperature-controlled transportation, and will come with an icing charge.
While the food and beverage industry is the most well-known, other types of hauls are just as important. The largest number of drivers in this field are livestock transporters. Those with experience on the farm are ideal for this job.
Long-haul truck drivers face an image crisis
The trucking industry is a crucial link in America’s supply chain. It helps move goods from the factory to the retail store shelf. But the trucking industry is in a state of flux. While the industry has faced shortages for years, there are new factors at play.
The trucking industry has an image problem. Long-haul truck drivers spend most of their days away from home. They travel long distances, wait at warehouses and ports, and deal with weather challenges.
A study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that nearly half of long-haul truckers report two or more unhealthy behaviors. These include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and limited physical activity.
In 2010, the NIOSH conducted a survey of 1,670 long-haul truck drivers. Researchers asked about their own health conditions and their knowledge of health risk factors.
Sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality are a subset of truck driver fatigue
In a recent study, researchers found that drivers with poor sleep quality had higher levels of daytime fatigue. These findings are important because sleep deprivation can reduce alertness, decrease coordination and decrease reaction time. This lack of quality sleep can affect the health of drivers and the safety of others.
The survey surveyed 80 male commercial drivers from the United States and Canada. All drivers completed the study and signed an informed consent form.
Drivers were recruited through participating trucking companies. Round-the-clock electrographic data was collected from four parallel groups of 20 drivers. Drowsy episodes were identified through video analysis and electroencephalography.
The average number of hours of sleep per driver was 4.78. Sleep was defined as the time spent in bed, naps and opportunity for a nap. Younger drivers slept for more hours in bed than older drivers.
Keeping in shape on the road
Keeping in shape as a truck driver can be a challenge. Not only does this job mean long hours of sitting, it also means that you are at risk for many health problems. The good news is that there are a number of ways to stay healthy on the road.
Among the top recommendations is to focus on cardio. By working your heart and lungs, you will improve your cardiovascular health, and reduce the chances of developing a variety of diseases.
Another way to keep your body in tip-top shape is to stick to a healthy diet. It’s also important to take frequent breaks, and avoid sugary drinks. Getting in touch with your family and friends will help you maintain a good mental state.
To get the most from your workout, consider using a set of hand weights. They are lightweight and compact, and can be easily carried in your truck’s side compartment.